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Art and Music: Cloverdale Arts Alliance

From the rich colors that brighten its downtown gallery walls to the vibrant swirl of its arts-related activities, the Cloverdale Arts Alliance is a creative focal point in northern Sonoma County.

If you happen to be in the rustic yet sophisticated town of Cloverdale any time between the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, don't miss Friday Night Live when the arts alliance brings jumping jazz to the weekly farmers market in the cobblestoned main plaza. Or if you're in town from autumn to spring, catch the Jazz Club concerts the first Thursday of each month at the alliance's gallery.

Located in a former commercial bakery storefront in Cloverdale's compact and highly walk-able downtown area, the Alliance's 2,500-square-foot gallery (204 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale, 707-984-4110) displays works by its six resident artists and their guests. 

This is a cooperative gallery, so the volunteer behind the reception desk who welcomes you to the space and answers your questions is likely to be one of the artists whose work is on display. The exhibitions change every other month.

With a few minor adjustments to the space, the gallery also plays host to free music workshops on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month; art appreciation lectures the first and third Wednesdays; art classes for children and adults; and occasional music, art, and writing workshops. And over the years, the arts alliance has partnered with the nearby landmark Clover Theater to periodically screen independent films. 

After perusing the gallery, you might want to explore this laid-back little community. Perhaps you want to start by refreshing yourself with coffee or tea and a goodie at Plank Coffee just across the street from the gallery. Or stroll around the tree-lined downtown, which offers a variety of intriguing stores, galleries, restaurants, cafés, and tasting rooms.

The Cloverdale Historical Society's Gould-Shaw House Museum features Victorian rooms decorated as they would have been at the turn of the 20th century, native Pomo art and artifacts, and displays of old farm equipment and other items from days gone by. And the Cloverdale Performing Arts Center presents a wide variety of musical and theatrical performances.  There's quite a bit to see and do in Cloverdale, and the Cloverdale Arts Alliance gallery makes a great starting point.

Written by Sonoma Insider Patricia Lynn Henley.